Last year at this time, Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation saying that we were going to End AIDS in Washington. Over the course of the past year, via surveys, focus groups, and meetings, people across the state have been weighing in on what they think it will take to End AIDS here. The state’s HIV Planning Steering Group (HPSG), with the help of its End AIDS Steering Team, has compiled these recommendations into a report being released today (World AIDS Day). The release signals the beginning of a six week public comment period. Input will be considered for revision of the recommendations, and the final report will be released in early 2016.
“I encourage everyone to look at these recommendations and tell us what they think, and then help us get to work on implementing them,” says, Secretary of Health, John Wiesman. “I’ve made ending AIDS one of my top priorities. I appreciate that the recommendations highlight how we get new prevention tools like PrEP into the hands of people who need them. As the leader of one of the agencies working hard on the state’s Healthier Washington initiative, I’m glad that the recommendations talk about our opportunities to address the behavioral health issues that impact many people with or at high risk for HIV. Most of all, I think the emphasis on addressing stigma and health disparities is right on – to really end AIDS, people need to be able to bring their whole selves, without fear, to their providers, their families, and their communities, no matter where they live or where they seek care.”
“As a member of the End AIDS Steering Team, I have been so thankful for the thoughtful input we received to create these recommendations. I am excited to hear what people think, and also to see our state, organizations, and communities go to work on them. I think it’s important that we keep addressing issues concerning stigma. We need to ensure that all people living with HIV have access to safe, non-biased, affordable health care. This should include not only our urban areas, but also all rural areas across Washington State,” says Joe Ready, a volunteer coordinator at Spokane AIDS Network.
You can find the recommendations here. The public input period will go through January 15, 2016.
Acabemos con el SIDA en Washington Recomendaciones en Espaniol